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7 Trends and Expert Tips to Stay Smart about Fitness in 2022

Top 7 trends and expert tips in personal fitness and exercise for 2022, including new wearable tech

What are the top fitness trends for 2022? Many of us (almost all of us) have a New Year’s resolution that involves health, fitness, exercise, and getting or staying in shape. Our correspondent (and kick-boxing instructor) Julie Chang Murphy has curated a list of the top 7 trends and expert tips in the world of personal fitness and exercise for 2022, including new wearable tech, outdoor training, home gyms and more. No excuses this year, dear reader — there’s something out there for all of us.

What are the top fitness trends and expert tips on exercise for 2022?

It’s hard to believe that we are entering our second year of a pandemic that has touched nearly every aspect of our lives. One of the most significant differences between now and pre-COVID life is how it has modified and evolved our relationship with fitness.

Top 7 trends and expert tips in personal fitness and exercise for 2022, including new wearable tech

The top 7 trends and expert tips in personal fitness and exercise for 2022, including new wearable tech.

HIIT devotees who couldn’t find the motivation to do burpees in their cozy, relaxing living rooms have become runners. Cardio dancers who love the front row at the studio have had to make do with Zooming it in.   The rest of us are still trying to figure it out!

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As we enter the year 2022, we’re taking a look at the latest fitness trends in hopes that it inspires us to consider new ways to just keep moving. They may not all fit into our lifestyles but maybe a few will resonate and help keep us motivated and healthy. We referenced the annual survey conducted by The American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal as well as various fitness publications to bring you our take on the 7 hottest fitness trends of 2022.

top 7 fitness trends and expert tips to know for staying motivated in 2022

1. Wearable technology

No surprise here — devices like fitness trackers, smart watches and heart rate monitors have been in the top 3 trends for the past few years. As more and more people take a DIY approach to fitness, data matters. From steps to sleep patterns, trackers like the Apple Watch, Fit Bit and Whoop can act like your own personal coach delivering customized advice and motivation to help you achieve your goals.

The top 7 trends and expert tips in personal fitness and exercise for 2022, including new wearable tech.

At  CES this year, popular brands like Garmin have added even more features to their tracking devices. The Garmin Venu 2 adds voice assistant and phone calling support. Not a watch person? The Circular Ring tracks a variety of activity and health metrics, including your heart rate and blood oxygen. Invoxia even released a biometric health collar for dogs…perfect if you’re trail running buddies!

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2. Home gyms

Rising up two spots from last year’s ACSM’s trend results is the home gym. We’re willing to bet that the respondents have all tried working out in the gym with a mask on! But due to the relative attainability of intuitive and minimally-designed machines like Peloton, Mirror, Tonal, or Hydrow, it’s easier than ever before to set up an effective workout in your own home without cluttering it with bulky equipment. (Full disclosure: our CEO is a board member at Peloton).  Streaming offerings have also greatly improved since the start of the pandemic with pre-recorded apps and live classes fitting into your schedule and not the other way around.

The top 7 trends and expert tips in personal fitness and exercise for 2022, including new wearable tech.

It may also increase your real estate value. The National Association of Home Builders found that 47% of homebuyers in 2020 considered a home gym essential or desirable. In the Wall Street Journal, Jason Friedman, a Realtor with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty on Long Island, reported: “We did have multiple instances where one home having a gym was the final push the buyer needed to transact on that property as opposed to other options without one.” As they say, health is wealth!

3. Hybrid Virtual and In-Person Training

Gym chains and studios have had to pivot in light of constantly changing COVID rules and variants. Enter hybrid training which incorporates a mix of in-person workouts and virtual options. Gym goers often thrive off the energy from others in the class, which is why the connected fitness devices that create a sense of community are the ones that are the most successful. In a 2018 study in The Lancet Psychiatry, participants in team sports and gym activities reported feeling a lower mental health burden. But when it’s not safe to do so? Studios like Barry’s, Rumble, and CorePower Yoga that have established virtual classes keep their members engaged and accountable.

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4. Outdoor exercise

In 2019, outdoor exercise was ranked at the no. 17 fitness trend by ACSM. This year — it’s no. 3. In RunRepeat’s 2021 fitness trends report, 59% of active adults chose outdoor activities as their go-to way to stay fit. Whether it’s a low-intensity activity like walking or high-intensity like mountain biking, more than 1,000 studies link outdoor time in green spaces to health benefits like lower blood pressure, a healthier nervous system, and an improved mood. We’ve all experienced this first-hand in the beginning days of quarantine and it’s a lesson we haven’t forgotten.

5. Facial exercise

We all know about working out to target the arms or core, but now we have to exercise our face? Yep — this year we’ll see “face yoga” take off even more. FaceGym‘s founder Inge Theron refers to the forgotten 40 muscles in the face and has guided massages and exercises that are meant to “create muscle memory to lift, tone, and sculpt.” And Patricia San Pedro, author of Face Fitness, believes facial exercise can result in better product absorption, smoothed lines, and clearer, more even-toned complexions.

Interested in a class? Yoga NW offers virtual face yoga classes weekly for attendees to tone the muscles in their face and neck while DesiredFace offers hour-long interactive online sessions that enable attendees to learn different structured facial exercises. And there’s equipment for it too — from the face ball, crystal gua sha, and more techy microcurrent devices all which help with lymphatic drainage, relieving stress and tension. As far as exercise goes, this one might not be such a chore!

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6. Micro workouts

Studies point to the efficacy of shorter, more intense workouts that can help participants burn 25%-30% more calories compared to more moderate-intensity workouts. Where do we sign up?

The top 7 trends and expert tips in personal fitness and exercise for 2022, including new wearable tech.

Whether it’s strength training with free weights or a ten-minute bodyweight training program, a mini workout is easy to start for commitment phones and the time-crunched to start and finish. Doing a few of these spread out throughout the day (good excuse to stay in those yoga pants!) can give the same results as doing a 1-hour class.

Other research suggests that among people who typically sit for eight hours per day, those who completed five 4-second cycling sprints every hour during the workday (for a total of 160 seconds of exercise) had 31% lower triglyceride levels and 43% higher body-fat metabolism the next day. The long and short of it is…moving for a few seconds is better than nothing.

7. Inclusivity matters

How many of us have been turned off by the exercise coach or instructor who looks nothing like us. They only fit a narrow mold of what society thinks we “should” look like? As fitness apps become even more integral to people’s workout routines, we’ll see more inclusivity with regards to race, body sizes, and age.

“Having acquired a taste for wellness that’s rooted in realism and authentic emotional appeal, consumers are demanding brands celebrate and support inclusivity beyond mainstream identity markers and across every stage of the life cycle,” noted The Welltodo 2022 Consumer Wellness Trends Report. It sends the message that exercise is for everyone and that strength and health can be achieved even if you’re not a size 0 with a bouncy, blonde ponytail.

Top fitness trends for 2022

That’s our round-up of the top 7-fitness trends to pay attention to in 2022. We hope it’s off to a healthy start!

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, and fitness. Julie lives in New York where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing. And spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.

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